Polluted Litani River Photo Credits: Gettyimages/JosephEid
There are over 150 farms using Litani’s polluted water to irrigate crops even though the Litani is no longer suitable for swimming or irrigation. The high levels of pollution are not only affecting the farmers and nearby residents and businesses but all of us as the Litani extends from the West Bekaa Valley all the way down to the southern districts of Nabatieh and Tyre.
The government is still not taking this issue seriously and their $880 million dollars plan to clean up the river is a joke. Such an imminent matter cannot be just another point on the government’s agenda and direct actions need to be taken to stop making things worse.
Check out this LBCI report to see how bad the pollution is and remember that some of these fruits and vegetables are ending up on our plates or in our dishes.
Biometric passports are officially available as of today. Anyone can apply for the new passport and those who wish to replace their old passports can also do so. According to the below FTV report, the documents needed are as follows:
– Passport Request Form to be filled out at the mayor’s office.
– Applicant’s original Individual Civil ID (Ikhraj Kayd Fardi) or or his original new Lebanese I.D. card.
– One recent color photo showing full details of the face with a white background.
– The old passport if available.
– The price will remain the same, $40 or 60,000 LL for one year and $200 or 300,000 LL for 5 years.
Design wise, I think they should have kept the big Cedar tree in the middle showing like the one before. It’s a nice and modern-looking passport but the Cedar tree in the middle is barely showing.
Those who just renewed their passports will NOT need to replace their existing ones. As for Lebanese expats, I believe they should follow the same procedure at any embassy. Check out this useful [link] taken from the website of the Lebanese Embassy in Washington.
A “Five Guys” burger & fries place just opened recently in Antoura. It even has five little guys underneath its logo. Obviously it’s not the real deal but I am actually tempted to try it out as I love these small Lebanese burger shops. Last year when I was in Dubai, I went to the real Five Guys to give it a try. It was good but not as good as I thought it would be. I will review it later on this week.
It’s wedding season and a lot of newly weds in Lebanon believe it’s okay to close down roads or drive slowly on the highway with endless convoys. Yesterday night, a couple apparently decided to close down Ramlet el Baida road to celebrate.
The New York Times published a list on the World’s coolest, Most Cultured New Malls and featured the new Aishti contemporary museum that opened back in October 2015. I’ve been to that new complex a couple of times and it’s truly amazing inside. The 35,000 square-meter complex includes one of the largest contemporary art museums in the region and was designed by Adjaye Associates.
Here’s what NY Times said about Aishti by the sea:
It was on the heels of the Lebanese Civil War that Tony Salamé launched Aishti, introducing luxury brands like Prada and Dior to his beleaguered Beirut. Now, 26 years and as many department stores later, he is also bringing in big-name contemporary art. Last October, he opened Aishti by the Sea, a roughly 430,000-square-foot mall housing a large museum space on the waterfront. With the New York gallerist Jeffrey Deitch as an adviser, the location’s first two exhibitions have featured works from Salamé’s 2,000-strong personal collection. (American conceptual artists from Allen Ruppersberg to Rashid Johnson are on display until April 23, 2017.) And the site, designed by the British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, is something of an artwork itself: Situated under a mashrabiya-style, red-steel “skin” inspired by the terra-cotta roofs of circa-1920 Beirut, its two conjoined entities “communicate through passages and windows, just like cuts in a Fontana painting,” Salamé says. Merging commerce and culture as such may be as controversial as it is cutting-edge, but, he explains, “The art is not there to push sales; it adds value to a mundane shopping experience.” Likewise, he just unveiled a Harrods Urban Retreat spa, an open-air pool bar and an outpost of Beirut’s beloved Music Hall on the roof. And with forthcoming pop-ups from lesser-known Lebanese designers, the shopping should get more interesting, too.
Did you know that Article 522 of Lebanon’s penal code allows rapists to get away with their crime if they marry the woman they raped? That article was meant to preserve the “honor and dignity of the victim’s family”, whatever that means, but is a load of B.S and needs to be abolished ASAP.
Lebanese Forces MP Elie Keyrouz is proposing to cancel that law that allows “charges to be dropped against an offender if he marries his victim” and referred his bill to Speaker Nabih Berri. I don’t know what took Lebanese MPs that long to submit such proposal but it’s better late than never, even though I doubt the bill will pass.
Raising the minimum minimum legal age of marriage to 18 is also a must.
Child marriage is still a huge problem in Lebanon and is simply wrong. Check out KAFA’s stunt from last year.
Tom Barrack, the founder of Colony Capital and one of America’s richest businessmen, is a major fundraiser for Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency and he spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
During his speech, he spent a couple of minutes talking about his Lebanese origins and the ties to Lebanon and the Levant Culture. I’m familiar with Barrack and his business but I had no clue his grandparents were Lebanese.
PS: Those are the only two minutes worth listening to in Barrack’s speech as he spent the remaining 11 minutes praising Donald Trump.
Since we have a talent for breaking silly Guinness Records, which include the biggest Hummus dish, the largest Lemonade cup and most recently the longest red carpet, here are ten records we can set at barely any cost in Lebanon:
1- The longest, most religiously diverse and chaotic queue at a governmental institution.
2- The biggest heart-shaped Shisha smoke cloud in the world.
3- The longest one-hand applause on an airplane while eating Knefe with the other.
4- The highest concentration of influencers/fashionistas/foodies/instainflueanistas per 1,000 inhabitants.
5- Most people swimming in a pothole while smoking Shisha with one hand and opening a champagne bottle with the other.
6- The largest number of convoy cars and bodyguards in a 50sqm public school.
7- The longest garbage-based bridge in the world.
8- The longest time honking a horn while cursing at other drivers while going the wrong way, wearing a seat-belt and smoking a cigarette.
9- Most policemen passed while performing an illegal stunt on the highway.
10- Most holy water cups thrown by hosts in a political TV show.
If you have other records in mind, please do share.